In a perfect world, all companies would be completely eco-friendly, non-toxic, and would do their very best to make their green by being green. Sadly, this is the not the world that we live in...at least not yet. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a "perfect" item because there are very few of them that actually exist, so I always encourage people to choose the lesser evil and work on baby steps towards better and safer products.
I recently found several eco-friendly backpack manufacturers, whose backpacks range from $20-$65 each. Unfortunately, there are so few of these companies and such high demand at back to school time that it was nearly impossible to get my hands on their products. So as a mother who is stuck in a predicament where my children need an item and it's very difficult (or costly) to find it...I've learned to make due. The solution products I found are quilted fabric backpacks by Stephen Joseph.
These 100% fabric backpacks are quilted for durability and appliqued for style! For $25 with free shipping, free personalization was included so my children were even able to have their names embroidered on their backpacks (blurred out for the photo). There are so many different designs available...from ballet to bugs, basketball to rockets, flowers to aliens...you name it, you'll be able to find a Stephen Joseph design to fit your child's personality!
The backpacks are 100% cotton twill outer with 100% polyester batting (padding). Machine washable. Each backpack is perfectly sized for your children under age 8. Dimensions are approximately 12" tall, 9.5" wide, and 4" deep. Now onto the things that I'm not crazy about with these backpacks...
The applique is felt, meaning that with a few washes and over a couple months, it will most likely be balling up. Since this is the main attraction to these backpacks, I'm bummed that it is not a more permanent design fabric. The zipper on the side leads to a pocket that is just loosely hanging inside the backpack - the fabric is not serged on the pocket and I can see that brand new it is already fraying. I'm very tempted to take this to my serger and see if I can prevent future problems with a few stitches now. My final complaint is that the straps are sewn in at the same spot on the backpack so they are funky in how they twist to be put on...the only solution I can think for this is to sew them next to each other rather than on top of each other. Overall, this is a cute backpack which will serve it's purpose, but I don't think it will last as long as I'd hoped. We shall see. Until then, check out some of my favorite Stephen Joseph designed backpacks.